A costume-clad Lauren Cohan "creeped out" her Walking Dead co-stars at New York Comic Con, where Cohan made a surprise announcement revealing her return to the series. During a panel assembling the cast and filmmakers behind The Walking Dead Season 10, a supposed cosplayer was invited on stage by panel host Chris Hardwick. Wearing an outfit inspired by Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, their face hidden beneath a Jason Voorhees mask from Friday the 13th, the cosplayer was quickly unveiled as Maggie Rhee actress Cohan — a reveal that left co-stars Ross Marquand, Seth Gilliam and Josh McDermitt breathing a sigh of relief.
"She was sitting in this Jason mask from Friday the 13th, and she was staring — I thought this person was staring at Seth and I the whole panel. I was like, 'This is creepy,'" Marquand told TV Insider. "I had no idea who she was, it was just bizarre. And then all of a sudden, when Chris said, 'Hey, that's a great cosplay, why don't you come up on stage?' I was like, 'Are you sure? Because this person has been dead-eying us the entire panel.' [Laughs] And then she took off the mask, and I went, oh my gosh, that's amazing. They had an inkling, I guess, that she was gonna be there, but I had no idea."
Eugene Porter star McDermitt knew to expect Cohan, but he wasn't told she'd be disguised as a mask-wearing murderer — or that she'd be acting like one.
"She told me that she was coming, but I forgot. I didn't know how she was gonna come out on stage, and same thing Ross was saying, she was just staring at us from the crowd," McDermitt said. "I was like, 'We had to go through metal detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs, all this stuff, and they're just letting this crazy person on stage, this is great.'"
Cohan earlier told the AMC blog the surprise was planned after many months of discussion with showrunner Angela Kang and TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple, who have long planned to reintroduce Maggie into TWD Universe after Cohan took a hiatus from the zombie drama in the front half of Season 9.
"I'm so excited to surprise the fans. I know we left Maggie Rhee up in the air and I can't wait to bring this to them," Cohan said. "I've always been a big fan of surprises. My family lives between England and America, so my whole life is about how to make an elaborate plan and not spoil it. [Laughs] I'm really happy. Angela, Scott and I have been talking about how we could make this work and everything just aligned. I'm super excited to see what this next chapter of Maggie will be."
Cohan will be fully reinstated as a series regular in Season 11, also announced by AMC at NYCC.
Photo credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for AMC